Update on Research4Life launching the Country Connectors network project to support users at local level

Published: Tuesday 20th December 2022
Category: Other

In support of the Research4Life 2030 strategic plan, which is aiming to foster an inclusive, diverse and equitable scholarly communications environment, we are pleased to announce that Research4Life has initiated a Country Connectors network project — funded in part by the Elsevier Foundation.

Responding to the need to develop services to increase lower-income country research output, the Country Connectors network project will deliver local interventions to heighten awareness about Research4Life resources in eligible countries. The project will focus on strengthening the capacity of information use and management and build communities of evidence users within national and regional settings — supporting user communities at local level by building local networks and partnerships.

To implement the Country Connectors Network project, Research4Life has partnered with the University of Dodoma (UDOM) in the United Republic of Tanzania, the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, the Ghana Library Association, the Sierra Leone Research & Education Network, Moi University, the College of Health Sciences in Kenya, and the African Methodist Episcopal University in Liberia. The Country Connectors will support:

  • Customization of research capacity needs
  • Engagement with local partners relevant to boosting research and implementation
  • Enquiries in local language
  • Capacity building in local language
  • Guidance for local publishers with interest in Research4Life contribution
  • Quick access for enquiries and (one on one) support

Meet the Country Connectors leads:

United Republic of Tanzania

Dr Grace Msoffe

Grace Msoffe is a Senior Librarian and Director of Library Services at the University of Dodoma (UDOM) in Tanzania. She holds a PhD in Information Science from the University of South Africa. She coordinates and facilitates information literacy training programmes for students and researchers at UDOM and nationwide. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students on information related subjects at UDOM. Grace has participated in several professional engagements such as development projects, research projects, consultancies, and capacity building programmes. Her research interests include information access, information management, and the application of information and communication technologies. She mentors and has lead the library staff team for over four years. Current projects include TESCEA, Digital Access to Research Programme, and Developing LVFO Data and Information Sharing Policy.

Agatha Mashindano

Agatha Mashindano is a Senior Library Officer at the University of Dodoma. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Library and Information Studies at Tumaini University Dar es Salaam College in 2011 and a Master of Library and Information Management at the Open University of Tanzania in 2019. Agatha is the Coordinator of the Institutional Repository Unit and manages electronic resources services at the University of Dodoma Library. She is a member of the E-resources committee of the Consortium of Tanzania University and Research Libraries (COTUL) (2021-2024). She facilitates information literacy training for researchers and postgraduate students at the University of Dodoma in the following topics: information searching techniques, electronic resources including Reasearch4Life, ethics and fair use of information and reference management (including Mendeley software).

For further information please email: [email protected]


Dr. Chencho Dorjee

Dr. Chencho Dorjee completed his schooling from the St. Joseph’s College in Darjeeling, India and his pre-university from Sherubtse College in his home country Bhutan. He then went on to do his medical degree from Christian Medical College, Vellore in South India in 1983. He also has a Diploma in STD, HIV/AIDS from Thailand and did his Masters in Health Development with major in Health Professions Education from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.

After graduating as a doctor in 1989, he served in the government as a medical officer and district medical officer in various district hospitals across the country for more than a decade. With a rich knowledge and experience of the health and medical system of the country, he joined as a Lecturer at the Royal Institute of Health Sciences in 1999, then the only health training institute in the country for training of mid-level health professionals and nurses. He teaches Basic Sciences like Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology as well as Clinical medicine and Public Health.

He has since then served as the Director of the institute and now as Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Public Health (FNPH) since 2014. He is also one of the country connectors of Research4Life Country Connectors Network project in Bhutan. He has actively supported in the promotion and use of Research4Life programmes by the eligible institutions of Bhutan. His support has been instrumental in the success of the Digital Access to Research project of the Technology Bank of the United Nations implemented by the FNPH.

Phuntsho Norbu

Phuntsho Norbu is a faculty member and the head of central library of the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan. He teaches the academic skills module which is designed to support students in their learning and provide generic skills that are required for university study. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Media and Information Management from Curtin University, Australia.

Developing countries need access to high-quality and current information to impart quality education, make evidence-based decisions, and to generate creativity and innovation. Unfortunately, the increasing subscription costs of scientific literature means universities and research institutions cannot always provide adequate resources. Research4Life (R4L) offers a solution to the problem of access to high-quality sources in developing countries. However, access is not automatic and no cost is not enough as many institutions in Bhutan are unaware that the R4L programmes even exists. Over the years, he has been the country’s main promoter of R4L programmes and has run several workshops to raise awareness and strengthen users’ scholarly information access capabilities. He is hopeful that access to R4L resources will empower Bhutan to become an advanced and knowledge-based society and is committed to contribute towards the fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. He also served as the Country Focal Point of the Digital Access to Research project of the Technology Bank of the United Nations from 2018-2019.

For further information please email: [email protected]


Richard Bruce Lamptey

Richard Bruce Lamptey is a Deputy / College Librarian of the College of Science Library, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) who is knowledgeable in digital Libraries, Data Curation, Digital Repositories and Information Management as well as Open Access / Open Data issues. He is very much results driven, go getter, follow transformational leadership principles. 

He provides advanced training for both Lecturers and Students and also raise awareness of library resources to support teaching, learning and research: Literature Search, Avoiding predatory journal publishing, Digital Literacy, Plagiarism, Institutional Repositories, Open Educational Resources, Open Access and Open Science.

Richard has supported national and institutional open access awareness and advocacy workshops that have resulted in a number of open access repositories in the country (which continues to grow). Through his work, the first open access mandate policy in the country was introduced by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He is the Country Coordinator for Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) and has recently been appointed as a Member of the Management Committee of SPARC Africa. He has over 25 peer review publications to his credit.

Bruce Lamptey is a member of the Governing Council of the Ghana Library Association, assisting in diverse ways to develop and reshape the cause of librarians and the library profession in Ghana. Besides that, Richard is very passionate on Knowledge sharing. He has been on several committee and boards in KNUST.

Richard has Diploma in Librarianship from the University of Ghana, Masters of Art in Information Services Management from the London Metropolitan University, UK, MPhil in Science and Technology Studies from Stellenbosch University, South Africa and graduating in November 2022 for PhD in Information Science at the University of South Africa.

Dr. Miriam Linda Akeriwe 

Miriam Linda Akeriwe is an Assistant Librarian and head of the Information Services department in the University for Development Studies Library, Ghana. She holds a PhD in Information Sciences from the University of South Africa; a Master of Information Technology Degree (specialising in ICT applications in libraries) from the University of Pretoria; a first degree in Information Studies and a Diploma in Librarianship from the University of Ghana. She has also attended short courses on the effective application of ICTs in libraries, as well as conducted research which were either presented at both local and international conferences or published in reputable academic journals. Her research interests include, ICTs applications in libraries, Institutional repositories and digital librarianship.

Eric Amponsah Amoaful

Eric Amponsah Amoaful is a Chartered/Council Member of the Ghana Library Association. He currently works with the University of Ghana as an Assistant Librarian at the Balme Library. He holds an MPhil Degree in Information Studies, an MA in Distance Education and E-Learning, and a BA in Information Studies from the University of Ghana, Legon. He is currently the Head of the Electronic Resources Unit of the Balme Library. He also previously served as the Head of the Students’ Reference Library, Head of the Population and Social Science Library (serving the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research and the Regional Institute for Population Studies), University of Ghana. He is a training consultant on Library Information Systems and ICT tools for research. As a training consultant, he has facilitated a number of workshops for various institutions including the Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA), The Ghana Library Association, the Ghana Library Authority, Elsevier Africa, The Ghana Institution of Engineers, among others. He is currently the Ghana Library Association’s Research4Life Representative for the Southern Sector of Ghana.

Mr. Amoaful’s favourite pastime activities include watching/playing football and listening to music.

For further information please email: [email protected]

Sierra Leone

Elizabeth Sheriff

Elizabeth Sheriff is highly accomplished and motivated professional with extensive experience in a range of support areas including: human resource management, information and communications technologies and client services. She is the ICT Support Officer at the Njala University on the Njala campus. Elizabeth is action oriented with a strong ability to communicate effectively, strong analysis and synthesis skills, and support the optimization of information management activities.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in Business and Information Technology she also holds Higher Diploma in Data Processing and Information Technology, she has also represented her country in Cotonou Benin city for the cyber security hacker’s lab Africa 2022.

Patricia Yandi Conteh

Patricia Yandi Conteh started working at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences Library, University of Sierra Leone in 2011 and was transferred to the Institute of Public Administration and Management (USL) in 2018, where she is serving as Librarian II in the Library.

Patricia holds a diploma certificate and degree in Library Archive and Information Studies and has completed her M.Phil in the same course awaiting the conferment of degree ceremony. She offers in depth one to one research assistance to users and laise with academic staff and external researchers. Her passion is to develop and promote library use and services and provide general reference assistance to researchers.

Patricia has attended several trainings in country on online research approach and her philosophy is to encourage and motivate students to feel personally engaged in their learning process. She is passionate for knowledge and prioritizes serving others.

Dr Thomas Philip Songu

Thomas Songu is an experienced IT professional and Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Njala University (NU) in Sierra Leone. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Research and Education Network (SLREN). Thomas holds a PhD in Information Technology Management. He also holds a Master of Science degree (MSc.) in Information Systems Management and a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in Mathematics. He provides technical, strategic and policy advice on ICT related matters. He ensures that the ICT infrastructure of Njala University supports its activities and the achievement of its goals, including responsibility for the implementation hardware, software applications, digital learning platforms and oversee both internal activities and external information system suppliers.

Thomas has participated in several professional engagements such as ICT development projects, research projects, consultancies and capacity building programmes in Open Educational Resources and Online course delivery. His research interests include the implementation of Open Distance and eLearning and the application of information and communication technologies in teaching, learning and research. Current projects include ICT in agriculture and rural development, Open Distance and eLearning, Open Science, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Drone Technology for Social good.

Thomas is certified in Information Systems Auditor, and also IT Service Management and PRINCE-2 Project Management practitioner. He is a founder Member of the Chartered Quality Institute (UK) and a member of reputable IT professional bodies, including the British Computer Society (BCS), the Association of Project Managers (APM) and the Information Technology Service Management Forum (ITSMF) in United Kingdom.

For further information please email: [email protected]


Isabel Musisi-Edebe

Isabel Musisi-Edebe is the Deputy University Librarian in Moi University, currently heading the College of Health Sciences Library. She holds a degree in Library Science, a master’s in library and Information Sciences and an on-going PhD. She is passionate in the area of Information Literacy, training students and Researchers in skills which are essential for academic success. She is actively involved in raising awareness in the use of e-resources to post-graduate students and undergraduates during their Community Based Program {COBES} as they go out to the various Health facilities during their course work.

Her research interests include Information Literacy, Institutional Repository, Plagiarism, Referencing and Open Access.

Joice. B . Baliddawa

Joice . B .Baliddawa graduated from Moi University, Medical Education PhD, University of London, Institute of Education, MSc, Educational Psychology, and University of Warwick, BA, Joint honors Education and Psychology. She undertook a Diploma in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

She is currently one of the senior researchers at the College of Health Sciences and AMPATH Program.  A founding member of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Ethics now merged with Mental Health and called the Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences. She is the chairperson for the flagship program Community Based Education and Services (COBES), a facilitator and supervisor for the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa, (CARTA) and also a member of the Kenya Guidance and Counselling Association and psychologists Association and the Bioethics Society of Kenya and an ethics Committee.

She is passionate about global collaborative research, undertaking monitoring and evaluation activities in the interest of improving and promoting research and care in resource limited rural, peri-urban, and urban settings. 

Professor Mabel Nangami

Professor Nangami is a distinguished researcher, trainer and curriculum expert with over 30 years of extensive experience in teaching and research work. She is currently an Associate Professor in Health Policy and Health Systems Management and former Dean of the School of Public Health and former Chair of the College-wide Community Based Education and Service (COBES). She has served as a member of the Africa One Health Universities Network (AFROHUN) leadership summit and was recently appointed to the AFROHUN Board and vice-chair of the Technical Advisory Committee. She is the Moi University program lead for the MasterCard Foundation Higher Education Collaborative in Africa. As a trainer, she has consulted for the Ministry of Health-Kenya on the Leadership and Management support program; and also designed curriculum and manuals. She has also consulted for the Institute of Health Policy Management and Research on operations research under the Integrated Quality Management System for improving Service Delivery in Reproductive Health. 

She has been involved in undertaking situation analyses of Human Resources for Health training Institutions and their networks in Eastern and Southern Africa. She has been a PI and Co-PI on several grants and published research on HIV & AIDS, maternal and child health, establishing a Sickle cell disease among other areas with policy and health system focus as well as curriculum development in various areas of public health. 

Mabel has a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and postdoctoral training in health systems research and development. She has over 26 peer reviewed publications and several manuals. 

For further information please email: [email protected]


Stephen S. Browne

Stephen S. Browne is the Dean of Library Services for the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) in Monrovia Liberia. Before AMEU, Stephen served as Director of Library Services at William VS. Tubman University in Harper, Maryland, in Southeastern Liberia. Stephen holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is passionate about electronic resources, library automation, and instructional technologies. Stephen has been a champion for Research4life since 2015 in his native country Liberia. He previously served as a Country Focal Person for Digital Access to Research (DAR) under the United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries program. 

For further information please email: [email protected]